What does gaming's all-digital future mean for the climate crisis? PART TWO

Published on 13/10/2021

In part one, we talked about companies. Companies - including some of the big players in video games - are improving the efficiency of their data centres, their data transmission, and their content delivery networks. But whether they're doing this fast enough is debatable, varying quite a bit from one company to the next.

They're also improving the carbon emissions directly, by "decarbonising" - sourcing renewable energy - for those data centres and services. But again, whether they're aiming high enough, or acting fast enough, or using the right methods, depends from one company to the next. Even governments - perhaps unsurprisingly - are struggling to act fast enough in decarbonising their national grids. The UK's carbon budget, for instance - the amount of emissions it can emit before surpassing the hard recommendations of the IPCC - actually runs out at the end of 2024, in just three years.

In other words, we have to keep the pressure up on governments and companies - but we also have to think about what we can do ourselves, because while we can't, directly, decarbonise the national grid, or triple the efficiency of a server, or set up a wind farm next to a data centre, we can think about what our choices do to affect the demand for that energy itself.